Top retailers call on chancellor to fix broken business rates system

Javid, Sajid

More than 50 retailers have written to new chancellor Sajid Javid demanding action to lighten the burden of business rates.

In a letter coordinated by the British Retail Consortium, industry leaders including Harrods managing director Michael Ward, Iceland managing director Richard Walker and River Island chair Clive Lewis proposed four ‘fixes’ to address the problem of business rates, which have piled ever greater pressure on retailers confronting harsh trading conditions.

Along with signatories such as Asda chief Roger Burnley, B&Q boss Graham Bell, Primark’s Paul Marchant and John Lewis Partnership chair Sir Charlie Mayfield, they asked for a freeze of the business rates multiplier, centrally funded upwards transitional relief, the introduction of ‘improvement relief’ and better resourcing of the Valuation Office Agency.

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